Remote Substituent Effects and Regioselective Enhancement of

Sep 11, 2008 - Kolupula Srinivas,† Brice Kauffmann,† Christel Dolain,† Jean-Michel Léger,‡ Léon Ghosez,*,† and. Ivan Huc*,†. Institut Européen de Chim...
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Remote Substituent Effects and Regioselective Enhancement of Electrophilic Substitutions in Helical Aromatic Oligoamides Kolupula Srinivas,† Brice Kauffmann,† Christel Dolain,† Jean-Michel Le´ger,‡ Le´on Ghosez,*,† and Ivan Huc*,† Institut Europe´en de Chimie et Biologie, UniVersite´ de Bordeaux-CNRS UMR 5248 and UMS3033, 2 rue Robert Escarpit, 33607 Pessac Cedex, France, and Laboratoire de Pharmacochimie, UniVersite´ de Bordeaux, 146 rue Le´o Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux, France Received July 15, 2008; E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

The selective chemical transformation of a multifunctional molecule often rests on the protection of the functions that may interfere in the process. In contrast, enzymes rely on their folded conformations to recognize their substrate and achieve selective transformations without any protecting groups. It might thus be inferred that, if the substrate itself adopts a well-defined folded conformation, specific environments might result that favor reaction at one function in the presence of others without the assistance of an enzyme or the use of protecting groups. Here, we present our discovery of enhanced and remarkably regioselective electrophilic substitutions in helically folded aromatic oligoamides. We also show that this selectivity much depends on the presence of substituents remote from the reaction site. In solution, oligoamides of 8-amino-4-isobutoxy-2-quinolinecarboxylic acid, (“Q” in Scheme 1) adopt very stable helical conformations having 2.5 units per turn and a helix pitch of 3.5 Å.1 This study was initiated by the identification of an unexpected byproduct during their synthesis. When tetrameric acid chloride O2N-Q4-Cl2 obtained by refluxing O2N-Q4-OH in distilled SOCl2 is coupled to amine H2N-Q4-OMe, the expected octamer O2N-Q8-OMe is produced1b together with a product with a similar retention coefficient (yield ) 5-30%). Careful chromatographic separation followed by mass spectrometric and crystallographic analyses allowed us to unambiguously assign its structure to octamer O2N-Q2XQ5-OMe. Remarkably, the third quinoline ring of this octamer carried a chlorine in position 5, a site that diverges from the helix and is exposed to the solvent (Scheme 1, conditions a).3 We concluded that the third ring of tetramer O2N-Q4-OH had undergone partial and selective chlorination during activation. The occurrence of electrophilic chlorination in neat SOCl2 is uncommon by itself. It could result from thermal decomposition of SOCl2 into SO2Cl2 and S2Cl2.4 But such selectivity is unprecedented and hints at some predisposition of the reaction site toward electrophilic substitution. Systematic investigations of the bromination of Q oligomers were thus undertaken (Scheme 1, conditions b). Bromination with N-bromosuccinimide (NBS) was preferred because it is slower and easier to monitor by 1H NMR than chlorination with NCS. As shown in Table 1, most reactions produced selectively if not exclusively one product and were also carried out on a preparative scale. Identification was made unambiguous by extensive crystallographic characterization (see Supporting Information). Figure 1 illustrates the time course of some of these reactions. Bromination of dimer O2N-Q2-OMe into O2N-QX-OMe (entry 1) is slow yet quantitative and was used as a reference. It showed that the † ‡

Institut Europe´en de Chimie et Biologie. Laboratoire de Pharmacochimie.



J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 2008, 130, 13210–13211

Scheme 1. Electrophilic Substitution of Quinoline-Derived



Conditions: (a) SOCl2, reflux (X ) Cl); (b) NBS, CDCl3, 40°C (X )

Br). Table 1. Products and Rates of Bromination of Various

Oligomersa entry

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


product(s) 2


O2N-QX-OMe O2N-QQX-OMe O2N-QQXQ-OMec O2N-Q2XQ5-OMed mixturee NC-QQXQ-OMe NC-QX-OMec O2N-QQXX-OMe O2N-QXXQ-OMe cyclo-Q2X, QX2, X3

initial rateb

3.1 4.5 1.1 2.6 1.9 8.8 2.7 3.6 8.1 3.4

× × × × × × × × × ×

10-4 10-3 10-2 10-2 10-3 10-4 10-4 10-5 10-6 10-4f

a At 40 mM in CDCl3 at 40 °C using 1 equiv of NBS. b In mmol · L-1 · min-1, variations between duplicate or triplicate independent runs are less than 10%. c Some O2N-QQXX-OMe is also produced (CN) is inconsistent with classical inductive or mesomeric donor and acceptor effects that would remotely propagate through the helix backbone. This was confirmed by the bromination of dimers O2N-Q2-OMe (entry 1) and NC-Q2-OMe2 (entry 7): both compounds are too short to possess any helicity and are brominated on ring 2 at comparable rates. Further remote substituent effects were observed during the bromination of tetramers that already possess a bromine atom on ring 4 (entry 8, O2N-QQQX-OMe) or ring 2 (entry 9, O2N-QXQQ-OMe). Both tetramers were prepared by stepwise assembly of the corresponding monomers (see Supporting Information). In both cases, bromination occurred selectively on ring 3, as expected, but reactions were slower than that of O2N-Q4-OMe by factors of 300 and 1300, respectivelysthey thus reacted more slowly than a dimer. It should be pointed that bromine substituents on ring 2 or ring 4 are almost radially opposed to the reaction site on ring 3, at a distance around 12 Å. The high stability of helically folded Q oligomers,1,6 even in SOCl2 (see Supporting Information), made it difficult to find media in which to monitor bromination of unfolded conformations. Yet, bromination in a nonhelical conformation could be assessed using the flat cyclo-Q3 (entry 10).1f It proceeded at the same rate as for crescent dimer O2N-Q2-OMe and showed no substituent effect after the first and second bromination steps. Taken altogether, these results show that (i) unusual regioselectivity and enhanced reaction rates resulted from a helical conforma-

tion of the oligomer; (ii) the distances between substituents are in some cases much too large for through-space effects to be involved; (iii) classical inductive or mesomeric substituent effects can also be ruled out. How does the helical aromatic backbone convey the effects of substituents? What is the exact origin of the rate enhancement and how is the steric hindrance expected in a helical conformation overcome? One may envisage that the large dispersive forces and ring current effects associated with tight aromatic stacking may enhance reactivity, and that regioselectivity might arise from local variations of steric hindrance associated with conformation dynamics such as helix springlike extension5 or helix handedness inversion.6 The enhancement of a chemical reaction within a helical aromatic oligomer has been observed in two other instances, namely the quaternization of a pyridine ring into an N-methyl-pyridinium,7 and the N-oxidation of pyridine rings.8 Pyridine quaternization, Noxidation, and aromatic electrophilic substitution all proceed through the intermediate build up of a positive charge on the aromatic backbone. It might be proposed that cation-π interactions come into play to stabilize transition states,9 though this hypothesis was dismissed in the case of quaternization.7d The presumably larger polarizability of longer helices would then results in enhanced reaction rates.9 Our observation of the specific reaction of a given site in an oligomeric sequence in the presence of other, a priori equivalent, reaction sites is, to the best of our knowledge, unprecedented, and so are the remote substituent effects. Extensive additional investigations, including theoretical calculations will be necessary to elucidate these phenomena. The reaction behavior of conformationally folded aromatic oligomers emerges as a field full of surprises and new challenges for chemists. Acknowledgment. This work was supported by an ANR grant (project no. NT05-3_44880) and the French Ministry of Research. Supporting Information Available: Synthetic procedures, characterization of new compounds, NMR kinetic studies, and crystallographic data. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http:// References (1) (a) Jiang, H.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Huc, I. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 3448– 3449. (b) Jiang, H.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Dolain, C.; Guionneau, P.; Huc, I. Tetrahedron 2003, 59, 8365–8374. (c) Dolain, C.; Gre´lard, A.; Laguerre, M.; Jiang, H.; Maurizot, V.; Huc, I. Chem.sEur. J. 2005, 11, 6135–6144. (d) Gillies, E.; Dolain, C.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Huc, I. J. Org. Chem. 2006, 71, 7931–7939. (e) Delsuc, N.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Massip, S.; Huc, I. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed 2007, 46, 214–217. (f) Jiang, H.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Guionneau, P.; Huc, I. Org. Lett. 2004, 6, 2985–2988. (2) In this abbreviation, the nitro or cyano groups replace the terminal NH. (3) We have previously presented the incorporation of this monochloro octamer in a larger foldamer Dolain, C.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Delsuc, N.; Gornitzka, H.; Huc, I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2005, 102, 16146–16151. (4) (a) Greenwood, N. N.; Earnshaw, A. Chemistry of the Elements; Pergamon Press: U.K., 1984; p 820. (b) Al-Shaar, A. H. M.; Gilmour, D. W.; Lythgoe, D. J.; McClenaghan, I.; Ramsden, C. A. J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1 1988, 3019–3023. (5) Berni, E.; Kauffmann, B.; Bao, C.; Lefeuvre, J.; Bassani, D. M.; Huc, I. Chem.sEur. J. 2007, 13, 8463–8469. (6) Delsuc, N.; Kawanami, T.; Lefeuvre, J.; Shundo, A.; Ihara, H.; Takafuji, M.; Huc, I. ChemPhysChem 2008, DOI 10.1002/cphc.200800310. (7) (a) Heemstra, J. M.; Moore, J. S. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 1648–1649. (b) Heemstra, J. M.; Moore, J. S. J. Org. Chem. 2004, 69, 9234–9237. (c) Heemstra, J. M.; Moore, J. S. Chem. Commun. 2004, 1480–1481. (d) Smaldone, R. A.; Moore, J. S. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 5444–5450. (e) Smaldone, R. A.; Moore, J. S. Chem. Commun. 2008, 1011–1013. (f) Smaldone, R. A.; Moore, J. S. Chem.-Eur. J. 2008, 14, 2650–2657. (8) Dolain, C.; Zhan, C.; Le´ger, J.-M.; Daniels, L.; Huc, I. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 2400–2401. (9) McCurdy, A.; Jimenez, L.; Stauffer, D. A.; Dougherty, D. A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1992, 114, 10314–10321.




VOL. 130, NO. 40, 2008